Olateju Adesida | Artistic Director
Olateju (Teju) joined the ensemble and became the artistic director in 2008. She pioneered FATE’s first artistic home at Iyanze African Restaurant with a dinner-theatre program that ran from 2009-2012. A producer, director, writer/adapter, performer, and educator, Teju is committed to creating with community. Her credits with FATE include directing Calabash Blues: African Love Stories, Dipo’s Notes, and Sizwe Bansi is Dead; Wrecked (role of Mary);and set design for Sunny Came Home and A Ditch in Madagali. Her solo performance, Amai Zenzele, an adaptation of the novel, Zenzele, A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire has been presented at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Purdue University, Northwestern University and with FATE/MPAACT. Teju created FATE’s annual performance series Diaspora Monologues in 2015. The program has become a platform for African Diaspora artists and community narrators exploring the diaspora experience in Chicago. She is also a storyteller in the summers with the company’s African folktales performance programs. Teju serves on the Board of Directors for Culture of Africa for Kids Everywhere (CAKE) and Funmi Adewole Foundation and was the 2018 recipient of the Nigerian American Professional Association (NAPA) Business Leader Award. She holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.
Ayo Lasisi | Associate Producer, Director of Youth Programs, Ensemble Member
Ayo is an actress and a youth program coordinator for FATE. Her passion to connect African and non-African youths to various African stories and culture is observed in her work as an actor and a coordinator. She also teaches Yoruba language – one of the many African languages – to children and adults. She enjoys reading, telling stories, singing, and most especially dancing. When she is not busy acting or teaching, she spends time at the beach and attends art and musical events in Chicago.
Philister Sidigu | Ensemble Member, 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence
Philister is a writer and director with an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago having previously studied at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH. In May 2011 her play Suicide received a reading at Goodman Theatre. In addition, Philister’s play Lost was produced as part of Regina Taylor’s State(s) of America series. She produced her first feature play, WRECKED, with FATE, and wrote and produced FATE’s 2019 mainstage play, A Ditch in Madagali. Besides writing and filmmaking, Philister is a thrill-seeker and enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors.
Obi Uwakwe | Ensemble Member
Born in Chicago, but raised in West Africa, Obi Uwakwe – better known as Obisoulstar – is the epitome of a Renaissance man. He has performed in prestigious venues nationally and internationally sharing the same stage with artist like Reggae Legend Beres Hammond, Grammy-nominated artist Kem, Teedra Moses, Eric Roberson, Bell Biv Devo, Sy Smith, Kindred the family soul, Ledisi, Tortured Soul, Rasaan Paterson and Miguel to mention a few. With five studio-released albums written and produced by Obisoulstar, his music embraces the sounds of Soul, Funk, Rock and Afro beat. He has been featured in several stage plays, indie films and reoccurring featured extra in the FOX hit TV show Empire and NBC’s Chicago PD.
Obi has also gained recognition as a photographer through his amazing portraits and landscape under the name L’coup “Loves Cover Over You Photography”.
Matthew Dada | Ensemble Member
Born and raised in Lagos state Nigeria, Matthew co-founded the African student organization Motherland at Truman College which later led to Fehinty African Theater Ensemble. Matthew has performed on stage and screen in Nigeria and the US. Matthew made his directorial debut with A Ditch in Madagali with FATE in 2019, and his other FATE credits include Eniyan (2012), Sizwe Banzi is Dead (2015, 16), Sunny Came Home (2018).
Keane Soluade | Associate Ensemble Member
Give Keane a beat and you will find his feet tapping to it, and if you make the mistake of taking your eyes away for a second, don’t be surprised to find him using the whole space as his dance floor. His passion for dance led him to acting where he discovered a love for telling the stories of others through living their lives on stage. This is what made him star in short films like “Run” by Ema Edosio, and plays for schools and churches. His first stage play performance was in 2018 with FATE in Sunny Came Home by Mutiyat Ade-Salu. On weekends or his days off, you can usually find him choreographing dance routines for weddings, cultural shows and dance classes. And to keep his parents and wife happy, he still works while this acting thing works out.
Maame Addae | Associate Ensemble Member
Maame Addae has made her Chicago theater debut, since graduating from Brown University, with A Ditch in Madagali. Addae is an actor, model, and writer who has trained at Second City and Acting Studio Chicago. She began acting at the age of 10 and took a brief hiatus to develop her congruent passion for design and creative directing. She has since returned to the stage, most recently appearing in Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble’s A Ditch in Madagali and more. She hopes to increase representation for young dark-skin black women on stage and on screen.
Ekaette Dada | Ensemble Member
Born and raised in the Bronx, NY Arikpo Ekaette Dada has always been strong willed and driven. One of the founding members of FATE, then Motherland, she has grown a great deal with the ensemble. “FATE is an opportunity for me and many around me to be part of an organization that is dedicated to telling the world our story; what it is to be black here, there and everywhere.”
She enjoys helping others and being in the company of good friends. The quote that best describes her is, “A black woman seldom does what she wants to do, she does what she has to do” – Dorothy I. Height. She is passionate and dedicated to improving the world we all live in.
Elizabeth Ibitoye | Ensemble Member